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Size or Strength Training for Football

Q: I’m a big fan of your workouts and have purchased most of your e-books. Thanks for all the advice, and keep up the inspiring work! I have a 15-year-old son who’s starting to get serious about lifting. He’s a football player, and he’s looking to improve his overall strength and mass. Would you recommend your 4X Mass Workout for him? I’m trying to figure out which of your programs would be best for someone his age.

A: For football your son will want to concentrate on building strength and power with size as an after-effect. The 4X Mass Workout is primarily for muscle mass with less emphasis on strength.

That said, my recommendation would be Jonathan Lawson’s original Size Surge phase 1 program. It’s a Monday-Wednesday-Friday regimen that starts each workout with a big anabolic-acceleration exercise. Here’s how that split looks:

Monday: Quads, hamstrings, chest, back, shoulders, calves

Wednesday: Deadlifts, calves, biceps, triceps, forearms, abs

Friday: Quads, hamstrings, calves, chest, back, shoulders

On Monday and Friday the workouts kick off with squats; on Wednesday he will use deadlifts to accelerate anabolic drive. Much of the research supports doing a big, metabolically taxing exercise first in a workout to prime testosterone and amplify the results of the exercises that follow it.

There’s also a lot of direct/indirect work at every session. That means many of his muscles will be worked three times a week with a direct exercise or as a synergist while he’s training other muscles. Quad work is a good example, as he’ll do either squats (direct leg work) or deadlifts (indirect leg work) at every workout.

The Phase 2 part of the SS program is full-range Positions-of-Flexion mass training. It’s more of a muscle-size-building regimen. He could do that for a couple of weeks for a change if he wants—use it as is, with the 4X method, or use one of the programs in The 4X Mass Workout.

Remember, though, after a few weeks on one of those alternate programs he should go back to Size Surge phase 1. The three-days-per-week power-bodybuilding regimen will be his bread-and-butter routine for his football goals—strength and power with muscle-size after-effects.

Granted, Jonathan was regaining some of his size and strength, but his Size Surge results in 10 weeks were nevertheless phenomenal: His bench press went from 200 x 10 to 290 x 6; his squat went from 205 x 8 to 335 x 7; and his bodyweight jumped from 191 pounds to 209. By the way, his waist actually got smaller, so he lost bodyfat. All of that in 10 weeks. To motivate your son, show him Jonathan’s before and after photos at

Your son is 15, so his anabolic hormones are flowing big time. With some diligent effort on the Size Surge program he will crank up his strength and pack new muscle on his physique.

Editor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of many bodybuilding best-sellers and the creator of Positions-of-Flexion muscle training. For information on the POF videos and Size Surge programs, go to Also visit www.X-Rep.comfor information on X-Rep and 3D POF methods and e-books.  IM


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